Krishna

I.Krishna as Divine Child

1.     Introduction

a.     On the nature of the divine as manifest in the world

b.     On the devotional relationship with the divine

2.     Balakrishna

a.     Mischievous: spontaneous and tumultuous

b.     Self-absorption and self-delight

c.     Combat as Play: slayer of demons, protector of the people.

d.     Stories:

                                     i.     The demoness Putana: disguised as a woman, poisoned nipples

                                    ii.     Slaying the Multi-headed Serpent Kaliya:: lives in nearby stream, poisoned the waters, K humors him, then jumps onto heads and dances, grants him his life.

3.    The Theology of Lila: Divine Play.

a.     The divine as spontaneous, free, unrestricted, wild, playful

b.     A devotional attitude/relationship: approach like an adoring parent.

II.Krishna as Divine Lover

1.     Krishna's unsurpassed beauty and powerful attraction

a.     Poetic descriptions: every characteristic to be relished, otherworldly grace, fragrant smell, nails, face, etc.

b.     Mirabai: 16th century passionate devotee, proclaimed K to be her husband

c.     Gopis: cow-herding girls

2.     The call of Krishnaís flute

a.     A summons to Krishna. Breaks monotony, shatters ordinary life. Intoxicating, irresistible, echoes through the forest and causes chaos in the heart

b.     Affects all of creation: rivers slow to hear, clouds hover overhead, astonishes and distracts the gods

3.     The theology of Ananda = Bliss.  Universe shudders with delight, Krishna fills the world with bliss

4.     Krishna as exclusive lover of Radha.

a.     Shyness, awakening of love. Love play: mocked quarrels, fits of temper, reconciliation. Emotions of one overcome by love, freedom of ecstasy, derangement, no control of senses (earrings on hands, necklace on ankles) immersion in lover

5.     Krishna as lover of the Gopis. Ringmaster of a festival of love. Sports with hundreds of Gopis in the forest of Vrndavana

a.     Shaktis of Krishna

b.     Krishna and Gopis' love play = reciprocal, making each other dance and sing, feel their love, ecstasy.

c.     Love in marriage or out of wedlock

                                     i.     Longing in the loverís absence. The Gopisí asceticism

6.     The devotional relationship: a relationship of lovers; Krishna is approachable, warm, irresistible, intoxicating.  A realm of love, demanding totally passionate response, freedom.